Koolhof & Skupski survive Tsitsipas Brothers test at Australian Open | TBEN | Tennis


Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski faced an early exit at the Australian Open on Saturday, but the top seed found their way to the third round.

Koolhof and Skupski battled after two hours and 45 minutes past the Greek brothers Petros Tsitsipas and Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(6), 4-6, 7-6(10-7). They pursue their first major trophy as a couple.

“We won a lot of titles last year. The only [that] missing was a Grand Slam victory,” said Koolhof. “We made it to the final of the US Open, but our goal is to reach at least one Grand Slam this year, so why not here?”

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The Tsitsipas Brothers played well at the Kia Arena, where they loved to involve the Greek fans. But Koolhof and Skupski rallied in the tiebreak of the last set.

The top division players scored important returns against the service of Petros and Koolhof excelled with his quick reflexes at the net at critical moments.

Eighth seed Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos also rallied for a win, beating Marcelo Demoliner and Andrea Vavassori 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2.

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Fifth seed Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek couldn’t escape a fierce battle themselves. Indian alternates N. Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan upset the Croatian-American duo 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-4.

Other teams that advanced to the third round included South Africans Lloyd Harris and Raven Klaasen and Czech-Slovak team Jiri Lehecka and Alex Molcan.

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